Dozens of contributors from the world of novels, TV, and comics have come together for The Literary Tarot, a crowdfunded Tarot deck that delves into the secrets of stories from literature. In just over a week, the campaign has generated more than $350,000 in pledges from more than 6,000 buyers. In addition to comic book superstars like Marjorie Liu, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Rachael Pollack, and Brian Michael Bendis, the project also features contributions from luminaries like Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale; Hart Hanson, creator of Bones; and more. You can see the campaign here, which wraps up in just over 3 weeks.
The project was created by the nonprofit Brink Literacy Project. The Literary Tarot‘s mision statement, per the group, is to bring “some of the greatest authors and cartoonists of our time” to gether to pair a tarot card with a seminal book that embodies the meaning of the arcana.
“For those of us who love to read, we know that oftentimes there is no better guide, no better education on how to be human than a good book,” said Marjorie Liu. “So, of course it seems fitting that a tarot deck flow into creation from characters who have already guided so many of us on this adventure called life — and that here, one hopes, there is even more enlightenment to be had.”
“The ability to make or see less-obvious connections is, if not a definition of creativity itself, at least a necessary ingredient,” said Kelly Sue DeConnick. “And that’s how I use tarot cards, as a way of using chance and the language of symbols to reveal unseen connections. In my work, the cards help me find a way forward when I’m stuck. In more personal matters, I use them as journal prompts. In both cases, I don’t think the cards bring a consciousness of their own to the table, but rather act to facilitate a conversation with myself.”
“Some people think the Tarot exists to tell fortunes, others to lay out in code occult doctrines,” said Rachael Pollack. “It does both of those things, and many others, very well, but they are not its essence. It is, as Italo Calvino wrote, ‘a machine for constructing stories.’ Or to put it another way, a book that changes every time we pick it up. For it is first ,and foremost, a book of pictures, of moments, without words, and further, that it is always open, always becoming….At the end of the Pirkei Avot (The Sayings of the Fathers), a Talumdic compilation, the wonderfully named Rabbi ben Bag Bag writes of the Torah, ‘Turn it, and turn it, for everything is in it.’ I would say, of the Tarot, Shuffle it and shuffle it, for everything is in it.”
“Working with the art team has been a joy,” said Brink Literacy CEO Dani Hedlund. “We have a diverse team of creatives scattered around the globe, many of whom I’ve worked with for years as the Art Director of F(r)iction. All five artists are not only silly talented (seriously, look at those cards!), but they’re all passionate literary lovers, dedicated to bringing the source material to life with care and flair. From new artists just breaking into the industry, to seasoned greats, I couldn’t be more grateful for my team!”
You can pick up The Literary Tarot, along with various add-ons and perks, on Kickstarter now.